Category Archives: liberty

he doesn’t answer to the state

“I don’t answer to the state”:

he also doesn’t come across as a fun guy; I almost felt bad for the woman who was questioning him, until I remembered that she was trying to deprive him of his basic rights to free speech/press under the guise of a “Human Rights Commission”.

from his blog:

If you don’t pay attention, you might not even realize that freedoms are being eroded. I had half-expected a combative, missionary-style interrogator. I found, instead, a limp clerk who was just punching the clock. She had done it dozens of times before, and will do it dozens of times again. In a way, that’s more terrifying.

word.

[updated YouTube link; but the other one was funny too.]
[updated:  I also forgot to mention it initially, but this is happening in Alberta (Canada)]

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Filed under if you aren't outraged you aren't paying attention, liberty, politics, rant, shenanigans, stupid government

rights watch

Property owners no longer allowed to restrict demonstrators from their private property.  I think we should set up a protest in the living room of the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court… see how he likes it.

Remember kids, the Bill of Rights lays out things that the Government cannot do against it’s citizens — it does not proscribe how citizens (or organizations/corporations) must treat each other.  This is what so many people in the media get wrong — you don’t have the right to get your opinions on TV or published in the paper, that’s entirely up to the people that own those outlets.

I supposed I should back off because this ruling is supposedly based on free speech guarantees in California’s Constitution, and not the U.S. Constitution.

But as the saying goes, “As California goes, so goes the nation.”

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Filed under liberty, property rights, stupid government

liberties lost

Radley Balko serves up his annual list of predictions . Please go read them now.

Go… Scoot. I’ll wait…

OK, if you read it and didn’t get it, the list was actual liberties lost and/or ignored during the past year (as evidenced by the hyperlinks in each). One can only imagine what 2008 will really bring.

[update: fixed the link above to “predictions”; it previously pointed to Will Smith: Nazi Sympathizer — just kidding, I read that story with fascination/frustration because I said the same thing a few months back, and nobody understood what I meant either.]

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Filed under freedom, if you aren't outraged you aren't paying attention, liberty, lies, stupid government

“most folk heroes start as criminals…”

these guys are inspirational:

YOU CAN GET ARRESTED FOR THAT
2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 Absurd American Crime Spree

good times.

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Filed under freedom, liberty, stupid government, whatever

what is our purpose in Iraq?

full disclosure: I supported going in and taking out Saddam.

but what are we doing now? I don’t buy the idea that we’re stopping terrorists before they attack us on our homeland. if that was the case, we should have Delta-force teams seeking and destroying terrorist cells in Iraq, taking out training camps en mass… I’m sure somebody will tell me that we are doing that, but if that’s true we should be celebrating some victories and demoralizing the enemy.

I know it’s just one man’s opinion, but I don’t believe Al Qaeda is using Iraq as a base of operations and I don’t imagine they’ll swarm in once US troops leave. if they do, our intelligence will detect it (yes, I still believe in our intelligence agencies — I think discrediting US intelligence is part of a disinformation campaign, of sorts), and then we send in the terrorist-sniffing special forces with a clear mission. I thought Pakistan was the terrorist haven right now, and Saudi Arabia always looks shady; so what are we doing in Iraq?

if it’s democracy, I think we’ve done all we can to help them along and now we need to get out of the way. they had elections, they have a government. they need to take over their own security — is it just me or does it seem like none of the Iraqis seem too concerned about it? you see images of their troops, and they’re disorganized and disinterested… they need internal leadership, and that’s something we can’t impose on them.

so when people call for us getting out of Iraq, I have to agree. not quickly, not hastily and certainly not cutting off funding. I’d be happy if someone laid out a 24-month plan to be out; 12-months would be better if it could be accomplished safely. and I don’t want us out because the rest of the world has an opinion about it, or the UN, or Michael Moore — I could care less about any of them.  I don’t think Bush is a war-criminal himself, I don’t think he’s stupid, and I don’t think he was misled or wrong for going into Iraq in the first place.  I just don’t understand or agree with his reasons for continuing to be there;  I just don’t see the viability of the ‘mission’, and it seems like most of America agrees.

[now I’m also willing to concede that if I was in on the President’s security briefings there might be plenty of reason for me to change my mind, but if that’s true the executive branch has to do a better job of selling it to the American public.]

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Filed under liberty, lies, politics, rant, TERROR, war on terror

why I don’t fear the future

2005
The scope of the Web today is hard to fathom. The total number of Web pages, including those that are dynamically created upon request and document files available through links, exceeds 600 billion. That’s 100 pages per person alive.

How could we create so much, so fast, so well? In fewer than 4,000 days, we have encoded half a trillion versions of our collective story and put them in front of 1 billion people, or one-sixth of the world’s population. That remarkable achievement was not in anyone’s 10-year plan.

The accretion of tiny marvels can numb us to the arrival of the stupendous. Today, at any Net terminal, you can get: an amazing variety of music and video, an evolving encyclopedia, weather forecasts, help wanted ads, satellite images of anyplace on Earth, up-to-the-minute news from around the globe, tax forms, TV guides, road maps with driving directions, real-time stock quotes, telephone numbers, real estate listings with virtual walk-throughs, pictures of just about anything, sports scores, places to buy almost anything, records of political contributions, library catalogs, appliance manuals, live traffic reports, archives to major newspapers – all wrapped up in an interactive index that really works.

This view is spookily godlike. You can switch your gaze of a spot in the world from map to satellite to 3-D just by clicking. Recall the past? It’s there. Or listen to the daily complaints and travails of almost anyone who blogs (and doesn’t everyone?). I doubt angels have a better view of humanity.

Why aren’t we more amazed by this fullness? Kings of old would have gone to war to win such abilities. Only small children would have dreamed such a magic window could be real. I have reviewed the expectations of waking adults and wise experts, and I can affirm that this comprehensive wealth of material, available on demand and free of charge, was not in anyone’s scenario. Ten years ago, anyone silly enough to trumpet the above list as a vision of the near future would have been confronted by the evidence: There wasn’t enough money in all the investment firms in the entire world to fund such a cornucopia. The success of the Web at this scale was impossible.

But if we have learned anything in the past decade, it is the plausibility of the impossible.

From a WIRED article a few years back; I must have missed it the first time around…

The other important thing to remember here is that not only was the “world wide web” not on some company’s 10-year plan, it was NOT the result of some government program* or the result of a group with an agenda.  Ten or fifteen years into this experiment, it’s pretty safe to say that almost all factions and interest-groups are involved in some way or another.

And lest any of you think we’re peaking, I believe the pace of interconnectedness and communication is only going to increase.  So many people want to paint a picture of our society as breaking apart (suicidal/homocidal loners, terrorists, etc), but I think we’re on the way to something altogether different.

* puh-leease don’t remind me that this was the result of ARPA/DARPA — the change in the Internet around 1995 demonstrates how clearly the goals have diverged from the government’s original plans once it was opened up to the free market

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Filed under freedom, I believe the children are our future, liberty, pick any two

where do you stand?

on ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’?

The appeals court sided with a high school student who displayed a banner reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” during an Olympic torch relay in 2002. It ruled former Juneau-Douglas High School principal Deborah Morse violated former student Joseph Frederick’s free speech rights.

Frederick, then a senior, was off school property when he hoisted the banner but was suspended for violating the school’s policy of promoting illegal substances at a school-sanctioned event.“The principal’s actions were so outrageous, basically leaving school grounds and punishing a student for a message that is not damaging to the school,” said his attorney, Doug Mertz.

Superintendent Peggy Cowan said clarification is needed on the rights of administrators when it comes to disciplinary action of students who break the district’s drug message policy.

“The district’s decision to move forward is not disrespectful to the First Amendment or the rights of students,” she said. “This is an important question about how the First Amendment applies to pro-drug messages in an educational setting.” [MSNBC]

are you with the school administrators or the student(s)?

I’m dying to hear your opinions in the comments…

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Filed under freedom, I believe the children are our future, liberty, politics